Monday, September 21, 2009

The Screening and "Assessment Dimensions"

Well I’m surprised to realize we have only two weeks of class and then our presentations and final exam. We are covering some good information; I got a lot out of the class today and the reading. Listening to the role play, which was very good, I had an image in my mind of these two women talking, and I got a good feeling of what it would be like to be in that situation. I wish I heard last week’s class also. I only heard the last scenario. I felt unprepared to try the screening myself, but after the class I went over my notes and chapter 2 in the Clinician’s Desk Reference, and I am ready to try it now.

Explaining a bit about myself and the services I can offer to the client, and finding little ways to complement them, are two things I can do when meeting a client to create a more relaxed atmosphere. “What can I help you with?” sounds like a useful question to ask the client. Also they might be more willing to participate in an assessment honestly if I mention I would like to spend more time listening to them at the next appointment, for the assessment, when I am ready to make that appointment. I liked one student’s comment that she would want to tell this assessor everything – she said it was because of the accent or something, and I don’t have that but anyhow, I would like to have that quality of “I could tell you everything” in my work! The notion that counselors and substance abuse assessors pay attention to their gut feeling about a client is good also, because more often we are going to encounter lying and minimizing the truth.

At the end of the class we learned the “assessment dimensions” which are the main topics covered by all substance abuse assessments. I want to print out the information the instructor said she was putting on blackboard for us. I am thankful to be receiving so much information in this class.

I am slowly beginning to develop an outline for my oral presentation. I was glad to get some clarity on this assignment.